Saturday, September 22, 2007

Good Article on Diet and Crohn's Disease - Foods to Avoid

Hey guys - Good article on the role of Diet with Crohn's Disease . Foods to eat, foods to avoid, etc.

The role of diet and nutrition is very important in Crohn's disease and should be considered as an important add-on treatment to medical therapies. Although there is no evidence to show that the condition is caused by nutritional factors, the food you eat can affect the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease.

Dietary guidelines for Crohn's disease vary depending on the severity of the disease, location of the inflammation, and symptoms. As crohns disease is characterized by inflammation along the digestive tract it is often difficult for the body to absorb enough of the essential nutrients that it needs to function well. In addition, people with Crohn's disease often experience a decrease in appetite.

During an acute phase of crohns disease, bulky foods, milk and milk products may increase diarrhea and cramping. Generally, the patient is advised to eat a well-balanced diet, with adequate protein and calories. Diet may have to be restricted based on symptoms or complications.

Because Crohn's Disease affects the area of the intestines where a lot of the absorption of nutrients takes place, taking supplements is usually advised. The greatest amount of digestion takes place just beyond the stomach in the small intestine. An inflamed intestine as in the case with Crohn's Disease is not able to fully absorb and digest the nutrients from food. As a result Crohn's Disease sufferers are often unable to properly digest and absorb carbohydrates, fats, proteins as well as many vitamins and minerals. Over 40 percent of individuals diagnosed with Crohns Disease showed that they can eat enough food but can’t absorb it adequately, especially carbohydrates. A high quality nutritional supplement can provide the nutrients the body needs for proper health.

Here are some general dietary guidelines for Crohn's disease:

Eat a well-balanced diet
Drink plenty of fluids to offset losses from diarrhea
Consult with your doctor if you need to take vitamin, mineral or herbal supplements
Limit high-fiber foods (whole grains, raw vegetables and fruits, beans and nuts)
Avoid foods that seem to worsen the symptoms
Limit dairy products

What is the best Diet for Crohns Disease?

Unfortunately there is no single effective Chron's disease diet which will reduce symptoms for all patients. A Chrons disease diet may vary from individual to individual and may need to be changed, depending on symptoms or complications.

Most dietitians with experience of Crones disease simply recommend a healthy balanced diet free of any foods that aggravate the symptoms. Generally, foods that make Crohn's disease symptoms worse are processed products, gas-forming fruits and vegetables, alcohol, lactose, caffeine and foods high in fat.

Choosing a proper diet for Chron's disease is important. The detection of foods that seem to worsen the symptoms and the introduction of foods that help ease them is a slow but essential part of overcoming Chrones disease.

written by Robert Hill


Carole said...

Hi Scottie!

I just stumbled across your site while doing a google search on Crohn's and Humira, since I seem to be having a few side effects.

I've scanned through your posts, and recognize so much of what you talk about! I've been diagnosed for 11 years now, but definitely had it since I was around 12 - I'm 40 now.

I wanted to mention = with your shots, have you considered switching to the preloaded pens? The shots don't take as long (about 3-5 seconds, though they say 10 seconds in the literature I think) and are much less hassle. They still STING like a {insert multiple swear words here} but that's the nature of the beast I guess.

Your night sweats are not unknown - I don't have them myself, but several of the guys I know with CD do.

For my IBD support, I mostly hang out in the personal discussion folders of (Carny and the Bratt is my folder). Feel free to drop by anytime!

You do have to register to enter, but it's a safe site - I swear.

Anyway, just wanted to say "Hi!", let you know that you're not alone with this sucky disease, and telly ou about the Humira pens, if you weren't aware of them already.

Bev and Ollie "O" said...

this is a good article/entry I think. I agree that diet can help significantly with control of symptome, but as you said is not a cure.

Scottie and ames said...

Carole - Nice to hear from you. I am thinking of switching to the pens and will ask my nurse again. I don't remember why but she had an issue with them and strongly recommended the shots.

dotslady said...

I don't have Crohn's, but have celiac disease (not "celiacs" .. had to laugh at your making note of correct terminology of Crohn's!). I was diagnosed 30 months ago and haven't stopped reading about it. I looked all through your blog for diet entry and was kinda disappointed with this entry :).

Dietary treatment for celiac is a gluten-free (gf) diet. Gluten-free diet helps so many problems, ie, treating "ataxia" (balance problems). It's also helpful treatment for some on the autism spectrum (AS)(gluten-free, casein-free). Gluten is the protein in WHEAT, rye, barley and contaminated commercial oats. (I noticed one of your entries where you had beer which is full of wheat!) Casein is the protein in dairy.

Many with undiagnosed celiac are told they are lactose intolerant. Lactose is digested on the tips of the intestinal villi. If gluten is damaging the entire or the shaft of the villi, then you're likely also lactose intolerant. Once gf diet helps restore villi, the person can again try dairy. Some people (incl celiac patients) do not respond to gf diet because most likely, there is too much damage and because of delayed diagnosis.

There is too much for me to share here, but wanted you to know and look further by googling "Crohn's gluten-free diet". Maybe it will help you.

Here's one site I visit (THE GLUTEN FILE):'s,ibd,ibs

I have "met" online Crohn's patients who control symptoms with gf diet. Or were misdiagnosed, and really had celiac. Univ of Maryland Celiac Research has video interviews with a patient who had some bowel removed ... unnecessarily because of undiagnosed celiac (Sharon Hardy):

There is a spectrum to gluten sensitivities; you can still respond favorably without positive celiac blood panel (have you ever had a "comprehensive celiac panel" to make sure?)

I know Crohn's is above my head, and who'd think I'd be glad to have celiac? I'd rather celiac than have Crohn's - poor anybody who has it. I am glad I don't have to take medication though. Sometimes you can have both Crohn's and celiac :(.

I wanted to share. You might be able to help someone with the info you find.

Ironically, I saw Today show which interviewed author of that book on autoimmunity you posted about! Malnutrition plays a role in autoimmune problems, too ... my hypothyroidism was diagnosed a full 10 years before my celiac; and that was diagnosed finally when I was almost 45. My primary symptom was not GI related! It was depression and fatigue.

Also, consider reading about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or doing food elimination diet to see if a particular food is exaccerbating symptoms. It's HARD to do an elimination diet because symptoms can show up to 2 weeks after ingestion. ALCAT allergy tests MIGHT be helpful ... might.

I don't live in FL, but DH is there temp working. Busy place! Keep up your good work!

jcnemecek said...

In my household, we've found soy yogurt to be absolutely brilliant. All the good microorganisms without the lactose.

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